- School building and classroom design are seeing increased attention to their impact on learning, and experts say modern classrooms should not have uncomfortable seats for students with desks placed in a row.
- Old buildings would benefit from a remodel that takes important architectural elements into consideration, and EdSurge reports “green schools” create about $12-per-square-foot in savings tied to reduced energy and water use, improved teacher retention, and lowered health costs, with on-site green tech increasing student engagement and performance.
- Students learning in classrooms with more natural light perform better than their peers in the same schools in classrooms with less daylight, and open classroom designs, where students can learn at stations and have comfortable seats to settle into projects, generally shows marked results.
A significant portion of this nation’s schools are suffering from disrepair, caught in the tangle of tight budgets that leave little room for adequate classroom materials, let alone building maintenance. Remodeling, in many schools, is not an option. But schools can consider the impact of space, whether they are prepared to make massive changes or not.
Teachers can redesign their classroom seating arrangements to give students more opportunities to direct their own learning. They can be aware of the effects of sunlight on student outcomes and adjust as much as possible. And schools that don’t have the money for a brand new building can consider individual green elements that might improve the school and touch classrooms, like adding solar panels or rooftop gardens.